Red Merle Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd dogs are loveable and faithful to their families, making them an excellent choice for a new family member. If you are looking for an ideal first pet or an addition to the family, your heart may be set on an Australian Shepherd, but are they good family dogs?

These beautiful dogs are great pets and can integrate well with families and kids, but their demanding nature requires a lot of commitment. There are some things you will need to consider before deciding whether it is a good fit for your family.

We will look at how they respond around kids, if they are good for first-time owners, and everything you need to know about caring for an Australian Shepherd dog.

Are Australian Shepherd Dogs Good Around Kids?

There are mixed opinions and reviews about whether or not an Australian Shepherd is good with kids. They are not known to be aggressive, but they can sometimes nip at children’s heels in an attempt to herd them since it’s an instinct they’ve had since birth. With proper training and socialization, this can be avoided. In the beginning, they will try to establish dominance over your kids, but socialization training will help teach them that kids are not to be herded. It is critical to teach your dog this concept; once they have grasped the dynamic, they will be remarkable companions to your children.

Australian Shepherds have amazing stamina and energy and are always up for playtime. Their loving and playful nature will keep your kids busy for hours while providing them with the much-needed exercise they need every day. Because the breed is hyperactive and excitable, your kids may be nervous around the dog. Their high energy can sometimes unintentionally hurt your child, so it’s best to introduce them after a play session when they are calmer and less active.

It is a good idea to prepare your kids as well because it’s important for them to know how to react in certain situations.

Australian Shepherd on the field with flowers
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Are Australian Shepherd Dogs a Good Choice for First-Time Owners?

If you are thinking of an Australian Shepherd as your first pet, they are suitable but also challenging. You will need to be committed to thorough training sessions for the best results. Time and devotion are essential, and you need to consider if your lifestyle is fitting for a dog that needs extra care and attention.

The irony is that the same qualities that make owning an Australian Shepherd so rewarding are the ones that bring challenges. These athletic dogs have loads of energy and need space and time to expel it. If they don’t, they can be destructive and hard to control. Australian Shepherds need regular mental stimulation to keep their minds busy and to prevent their herding instincts from taking over.

What Do You Need To Know About Caring for An Australian Shepherd Dog?

Being prepared is vital, and knowing how to care for an Australian dog can help you make a final decision on adoption. Here are some tips and things to consider when caring for an Aussi.

  • They need a lot of exercise. Be prepared to provide at least 30–60 minutes a day.
  • Be confident and establish that you are in charge.
  • Provide mental stimulation with challenging jobs and games.
  • Socialize and train them early, so they learn not to be aggressive and not to herd children or animals.
  • They can suffer from separation anxiety; don’t leave them alone too often.
  • They are considered average shedders and will need a weekly brushing routine and a bath every 4–6 weeks.
  • These active dogs will burn a lot of calories, and they will require a proper diet to maintain their energy levels.

Final Thoughts

Australian Shepherds can be loving and devoted companions, but they require a lot of work and care. Their high intelligence, energy level, and herding instincts indicate they are not the ideal family pet, but with a willing and committed owner that can put in the time, they can be extraordinary pets that provide your family with years of love and happiness.


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